Reynolds gets call at first in series finale
TORONTO -- Indians manager Terry Francona has used the same batting order for his team's first three games, but included a slight defensive adjustment on Thursday.
Mark Reynolds, who served as the team's designated hitter in the first two games of the season, was slotted in as the first baseman in the finale of this three-game set in Toronto. First baseman Nick Swisher was moved into the DH role to accommodate the switch.
"I don't want him to just be a DH," Francona said of Reynolds. "One, I don't think it's fair to him. Two, he's a pretty good first baseman, and I think it helps Swish."
Swisher also has the ability to play right field, and Francona said he might make that position change at some point this weekend against Tampa Bay, in order to get right fielder Drew Stubbs off the artificial turf for a day. That said, Francona has loved what he has seen from Swisher to this point at first base.
"Maybe people don't realize what he's capable of doing," Francona said. "I know he has really good actions. He will get better with reps, but we knew when we signed him [he could handle first base]. I remember seeing him and thinking, 'This guy, he's got first base actions.' He's not like a converted guy. His actions have first base written all over them."
During the upcoming road series against the Rays, Francona also plans on working backup catcher Lou Marson and utility infielders Mike Aviles and Ryan Raburn into at least one game apiece. Francona might slot them in on Friday or Saturday, considering Cleveland will be facing lefties Matt Moore and David Price in those games.
"By the time we leave Tampa, everybody will play," Francona said. "I'll spend a lot of time [planning the lineups] on the flight tonight."